Almost there. As prophesied here when it was at 300 million or so, after just 5 days of release, “The Dark Knight Rises” is poised to cross the one billion dollar mark worldwide. Just like “The Dark Knight” before it. And at 941 million so far, along with “The Avengers” raking in about 1.5 billion dollars since its release in early May, we certainly appear to be in the golden age of the comic book superhero film. New Iron Man and Superman movies step up to the plate in early 2013…and let’s not dismiss how even a re-booted Spider-Man has captured a cool 700 million since early July. This costumed crusader glut was an impossible dream when I first watched Richard Donner’s 1978 “Superman” as an impressionable 13-year old in a now defunct movie house in Hackensack, New Jersey(the city where some of you may remember was the target of one of Lex Luthor’s recalculated warheads…the bomb that Superman promised Valerie Perrine’s Ms. Teschmacher he would stop first). It took over a decade later for the next big super hero blockbuster to hit…in the form of Tim Burton’s 1989 “Batman”. Now they are churning out a few of these babies every year…WITH superb actors AND gigantic budgets. The mind boggles. And favorite director or not, David Cronenberg is dead wrong when he takes a shot at Christopher Nolan and his supposed inability to mine art from a story about a man in a cape. It’s disappointing to hear this from a genius who made exploding heads and VCRs in people’s stomachs something of unique, sublime beauty. But I’m still DYING to see “Cosmopolis”, of course—especially after Walter Chaw’s 4-star review. And a quick note of thanks to all my readers who kept the blog active while I was sunning away on Block Island. Multiple hits every day from a variety of countries…as usual I am humbled by, and appreciative of, the patronage. Coming soon: a review of “The Hunger Games”, as well as the fourth film of my SIP ’12 series. Oh, and while speaking of David Cronenberg, the next installment of The Cronenberg Chronicle. Will it be “Cosmopolis” or “eXistenZ”? I’m more certain than I was just a day or so ago…and you will have the answer too before the end of this week.